UConn Undergrads at the 2015 SDS Conference

Congratulations to several of our undergraduate students who were accepted to present at the 2015 Society for Disability Studies Conference this June in Atlanta, GA. The Society for Disability Studies Student Interest Group organizes a panel of the most exciting research done by undergraduates in disability studies’ programs across the country.  All applicants must be nominated by a faculty member, and this year saw fierce competition with the most applications to date.


Three students in Erin Eighan’s fall course, ENGL 2274W: “Disability in American Literature and Culture,” were nominated. All three were accepted!  Congratulations to Annmarie Bonin (annmarie.bonin@uconn.edu), Noah Bukowski (noah.bukowski@uconn.edu), and Tory Sylvestre (victoria.sylvestre@uconn.edu).


Annmarie Bonin’s project, “The Internet Is Blind: A Case for Human Identity” posits that social media forums like Tumblr, as a virtual space, can lead to the practical “end of identity politics” for which Lennard J. Davis has advocated.  As such, this project is at the intersection of technology, disability, and identity politics.


Noah Bukowski’s project, “Benjy and Quentin Compson: Combating Enfreakment through Mutual Autistic Savanthood,” brings a truly innovative reading of Benjy Compson and Quentin Compson to light — something incredibly difficult to do with a canonical author like William Faulkner.  Noah directs his efforts to subverting the traditional value system that recognizes Benjy as inferior to his normative kin.  Noah highlights the intellectual capacity on display in the Benjy narrative and, thereby, reclaims the value of a subject position of cognitive difference.


Tory Sylvestre’s project, “Type 1 Diabetes: The Liminal Space Between Ability and Disability,” examines how the medical model of disability thrusts people with diabetes into an existential crisis as they regularly straddle the line between ability and disability based on a quantitative evaluation of glucose levels. In order to understand this phenomenon, Tory performs a rhetorical analysis of posts from online diabetes support communities.


Their outstanding accomplishments are a testament to our students’ great capacity for intellectual and professional success.